Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Opponents of Proposal 2...
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Opponents of Proposal 2 clone around the facts

Robert Downes - October 20th, 2008
Here are some questions for Joe Plumber:
Are you afraid that giant biomedical corporations will start pumping out human clones if Proposal 2 passes in Michigan this November?
Or, are you more afraid that you (or a member of your family) will someday come down with MS, diabetes, Lou Gehrig‘s disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Krohn’s disease, blindness, cancer, heart disease, damaged organs, stroke and a host of other afflictions?
You know, things that may be cured someday by the stem cell research encouraged by Proposal 2.
Embryonic stem cell research is one of the greatest discoveries of our time. It has the potential to cure our most devastating illnesses. It’s possible that it will someday help quadriplegics rise from their beds, and make diseased hearts strong.
But the ethical considerations make some people squeamish.
Here‘s the background: When a couple is unable to have a baby, they go to an infertility clinic and have their eggs and sperm combined in vitro. The fertilized eggs (embryos) are implanted in the woman’s womb. But generally, not all of the eggs are saved, so the leftover embryos are destroyed.
Some couples, however, donate these embryos for research. It’s from these discarded embryos that stem cells are obtained for study.
Embryotic stem cells are ideal for study because they have the ability to divide into the many different cell types found in our bodies. Thus, a researcher can use them to study cures for things like kidney disease, or repairing damaged spinal cords.
In Michigan, Proposal 2 would amend the state constitution to allow the following:

“To ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures, and to ensure that physicians and researchers can conduct the most promising forms of medical research in this state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically. Any research permitted under federal law on human embryos may be conducted in Michigan, subject to the requirements of federal law...”

That’s it: Proposal 2 would simply allow couples to donate their unused embryos for medical research. And it would allow the new $10.5 million stem cell research center at the University of Michigan to conduct the same studies that are currently allowed by the federal government. It‘s the same research that is conducted in virtually every state in the country, other than backwaters such as South Dakota, Louisiana... and Michigan.
And get this, Joe -- the proposed amendment states at the very top:

“Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.”

That’s it: no human cloning, or any possibility of cloning under our state‘s constitution.
Yet, if you’ve watched the commercials opposing Proposal 2, you’d think that human cloning is right around the corner if the amendment is approved.
This campaign of disinformation by the Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science and Experimentation is a flat-out lie -- as was their claim that stem cell research will raise your taxes. Disinformation of this sort is being used to hold back researchers from curing some of the cruelest diseases on the planet.
And on that score, Michigan ranks as one of the most backward states in the nation. Currently, couples or researchers who violate an antiquated law on embryotic donations and study can face a $10 million fine and 10 years in prison.
But let’s say that Proposal 2 fails in Michigan. Will that stop stem cell research?
Of course not. The research will carry on in scores of other states and countries. Meanwhile, Michigan will lose an estimated 800 biotech jobs that would result from passing Proposal 2, not to mention the honors (and profits) that could arise from any medical breakthroughs.
Do you oppose Proposal 2? Then will you someday look into the eyes or your dying child, parent or spouse and refuse the medicine that comes from stem cell research?
Ironically, the study of stem cells has revealed new and better avenues of research. One scientist claims that, someday, the use of embryos may be simply a medical footnote.
Just last week, for instance, there was news that the stem cells from a man’s testicles may provide a better avenue for study than that of embryos.
One can only imagine that Joe Plumber has got his legs crossed at the thought of it...
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